Newport, KY

First coyotes and now foxes in Newport, Kentucky

Anita Durairaj

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First, there was mention of coyotes in the Newport area this summer. Now, some Newport residents have indicated that they have seen a fox (or foxes) in their backyards squeezing through the fences.

Some of the foxes seen have been reported to have mange. If you see a fox with mange, you can report it to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife or Kentucky Wildlife Rehabilitation. The other best action is to just leave them alone.

Are foxes really a threat?

Well, there are only two species of foxes native to Kentucky. The two species are the Red Fox and the Grey Fox.

The characteristics of a red fox are black legs, black-tipped ears, a white-tipped tail, and a dog-like face. Grey foxes tend to have a black tipped tail and a black stripe down their back.

It is natural for foxes to come out into urban areas to scavenge for food. They love people's backyards because they can get into pet food and garbage.

According to the Humane Society, foxes are afraid of humans. They are not dangerous unless they are infected with rabies. As for pets, small animals should be kept indoors or in a sturdy enclosure if you know that a fox is around. Foxes typically don't go after larger size adult cats but they may attack kittens or very small cats. The average fox is the size of a large housecat so they will be reluctant to attack something that is their own size.

However, the fox sighted in Newport looks to be in a weakened condition so it may not be a threat to cats or dogs.

And, finally, if you are not sure if you saw a coyote or a fox, there are some ways you can tell them apart. A fox is smaller than a coyote. Their tails are larger and bushier than a coyote tail and they have vertical pupils similar to cats. For more differences between foxes and coyotes, check out all things foxes.

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